Billions of emails are sent daily and it is estimated well over half the world’s population are email users. Given that information, it should come as no surprise that email marketing is one of the most effective ways for brands to achieve customer engagement and sales conversions.
But while the use of email is massive, the quality of email addresses collected at an aggregate level remains questionable. According to a Loqate article, as low as 10% of the emails collected are accurate.
With statistics like that, it is obvious that businesses need to verify email addresses before they send. One reason for this is to protect their reputations. Simply put, too many bounced emails can get senders blacklisted by their internet service providers (ISPs).
Two prominent email validation tools in the market are Mailboxlayer and ZeroBounce.
Mailboxlayer is a JSON API that can instantly verify email addresses through a series of checks. ZeroBounce is an AI-powered email validation API that attempts to optimize sender reputation scores for its customers.
ZeroBounce offers some functionalities absent in Mailboxlayer. However, Mailboxlayer cleans email lists just as accurately as ZeroBounce at a fraction of the price, making it the better alternative.
This article will explore both these APIs in-depth and hopefully help you pick the one that best meets your needs.
Main Features Compared
The checks Mailboxlayer and ZeroBounce perform to verify emails are similar.
Even though ZeroBounce has a broader set of functionality than Mailboxlayer (like abuse detection and some Artificial Intelligence), the 97-98% accuracy achieved by Mailboxlayer makes it the best of the two when it comes to email verification.
Validation Process and Accuracy
At a basic level, both Mailboxlayer and ZeroBounce have similar validation processes.
For example, they both run real-time email verification when the email enters the user’s system and checks for syntax issues and typos. They both also have catch-all detection capabilities to weed out disposable addresses.
While no email validation API can claim 100% accuracy, Mailboxlayer and ZeroBounce produce very accurate results. In general, a bounce rate below 5% is considered healthy, and multiple users and testers online have reported bounce rates well below this acceptable threshold for both APIs.
However, Mailboxlayer takes this a step further. It claims 98% accuracy. That said, while this claim is accurate for all their users combined, the results will likely fluctuate significantly for individual users.
Bulk email verification
Both APIs have the capability of verifying multiple emails at a time. However, Mailboxlayer has a bit of an edge regarding the rate limit (number of emails you can check at once).
With its Enterprise Plan, Mailboxlayer can load up to 600 emails simultaneously. Conversely, ZeroBounce has a rate limit of 500 emails.
Features found only in ZeroBounce
Even though Mailboxlayer is the top solution when it comes to email verification, some users may consider ZeroBounce for its additional features.
Since they are quite specific to a handful of practical cases, we list them below for you to make the final decision.
Certain people in email lists are quick to mark emails as spam. Because of this, their email addresses can put your reputation at stake. ZeroBounce can quickly and efficiently detect and remove problematic addresses. This capability is unique to ZeroBounce and does not feature in the Mailboxlayer API.
The ZeroBounce API has AI directly built into its system. As a result, they claim to constantly refine their algorithm to produce the most accurate email quality scores for users. It works based on the behavior of subscribers on a list and the system adjusts its scores over time.
Mailboxlayer doesn’t use AI directly, but you can integrate the API to AI bots to enhance its capability.
Documentation is one of the most important things to consider when you are implementing an API.
Mailboxlayer’s documentation is more user-friendly overall than ZeroBounce’s, with its easily scannable text and appropriate labels. However, ZeroBounce’s documentation is quite detailed and has videos to help users out, so it does have its strengths.
Mailboxlayer’s documentation is pretty straightforward, and if you have experience using other APIs, it should be effortless to use. In addition, the contents within the documentation are easily readable and sufficiently detailed. Sections are also clearly marked to reveal which features are available for which payment plan.
A big plus for Milboxlayer is a section on API errors, which can help users troubleshoot issues. And this part is completely missing in ZeroBounce’s documentation.
ZeroBounce also has user-friendly documentation. However, in contrast to Mailboxlayer, the documentation is much more detailed.
For some users, this could be a plus. But for others, it can prove to be an irritant as well. That’s because everything is not on the same page, and there are often essential details provided in another link that a user may miss while scanning.
On the other hand, one great thing about ZeroBounce’s documentation is the embedded videos. They give users who are visual learners a better way to grab the details they require. And it adds a personal touch to their interaction with ZeroBounce.
Also, code examples shared in the API’s documentation are much more extensive.
They are in several more languages than the ones provided by Mailboxlayer, including Visual Basic, C#, PHP, Java, Python, Swift, Objective C, and Android Java.
Finally, ZeroBounce documentation also features a search box. This feature can help ease users in sifting relevant information from the extensive text presented.
Which One’s The Easiest To Use?
ZeroBounce Ease of Use
Mailboxlayer Ease of Use
Both Mailboxplayer and ZeroBounce have very user-friendly designs. However, Mailboxlayer has the edge when it comes to guiding users through its simplified documentation. On the other hand, ZeroBounce’s usability strength is its ability to integrate with other platforms and its 24/7 customer support.
Both Mailboxlayer and ZeroBounce can run queries across a wide array of programming languages. Mailboxlayer has a straightforward and minimalist documentation page that allows users to get their desired information rapidly instead of having to scroll too much. Unfortunately, non-technical folks may struggle somewhat with the ZeroBounce documentation and interface.
A plus point in favor of ZeroBounce is its ability to integrate with popular emailing platforms such as Mailchimp, AWeber, CloudFlare, Drip, and HubSpot. This integration makes it easier and quicker for existing users of those platforms to validate their lists via ZeroBounce.
Another positive for ZeroBounce is its 24/7 customer support. This service allows users to ask direct questions and get their issues sorted. Support is easy to access through live chat. Finally, a chatbot also shares the latest features added to the APIs, keeping their users informed about functionality enhancements.
Mailboxlayer, on the other hand, has a Contact & Support page requiring a process similar to emailing to reach out to the team. Unfortunately, there is no option for direct support through live chat.
Mailboxlayer is the winner by a mile versus ZeroBounce when it comes to pricing. Its plans are way less costly, and given its comparable accuracy levels, Mailboxlayer is by far the more budget-friendly choice.
Both the APIs have free-of-cost trial versions (scroll down for details).
Mailboxlayer has three paid plans: Basic, Professional, and Enterprise.
The Basic plan costs $9.99 per month (or $95.9% annually) and allows up to 5,000 API requests.
The Professional plan costs $49.99 per month or $479.9 for a year. It includes 50,000 API requests.
Finally, the Enterprise version has a $149.99 per month price point ($1493.9 per annum) with 250,000 API requests.
All the paid plans are discounted by 20% if you go for the yearly subscription.
In addition, bearing the frequent need of users to check more emails than the stipulated limit in each tier in mind, Mailboxlayer allows for a tolerance of 20% at no extra cost.
For example, if you are on the Professional plan, you can check an additional 10,000 emails at no extra charges. On the other hand, ZeroBounce follows a pay-as-you-go pricing model with rates depending on the number of emails you want to validate.
At the lowest level, the price is $16 for checking 2,000 emails. As a direct comparison, we can use an example of 50,000 emails. Conversely, Mailboxlayer offers to check 50,000 emails in a month at $49.99, Zerobounce states a flat price of $325 for the same number of validations.
In short, email for email, Zerobounce is over six times pricier than Mailboxlayer!
Free Tiers Compared
Mailboxlayer offers a no-strings-attached, free forever plan.
It includes 250 API requests, unlimited tech support, and syntax plus typo checks. In short, it has all the benefits of the priced plans except for catch-all detection.
ZeroBounce has a 100 email validation limit in its free version. All the features for the paid tiers are also part of the free offer.
Mailboxlayer has the edge again when it comes to the free tier, offering 150 more requests than ZeroBounce.
ZeroBounce Overall Score
Mailboxlayer Overall Score
Email validation is necessary for any business with a substantial list to avoid getting blacklisted and unable to send subscribers important messages.
Two popular email verification APIs are Mailboxlayer and ZeroBounce. With its easy-to-use interface, high accuracy, and highly competitive pricing, Mailboxlayer is the overall better choice for most users.
ZeroBounce should be your pick if you are looking for advanced features such as abuse detection and built-in artificial intelligence, but if it is value for money and overall accuracy you are after, Mailboxlayer is the clear winner.